With all the rumors flying around about coach Mike Woodson‘s job security, any issue can become a major one rather quickly. The players might not have quit on Woodson, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com, but they are growing tired of having their effort questioned by him. Last month some players expressed their frustration privately to reporters, and a few players communicated their frustration directly to Knicks management, according to Begley. This discontent could be indicative of a schism between the players and their coach, or simply a product of the toll losing takes on a team.
More notes out of the Knicks realm:
- In light of all the speculation about Woodson’s job security, some players are growing weary of their coach, Begley writes in a separate piece The players might possibly be tuning out Woodson, unsure if he will be their coach for much longer. Begley also touches more on the players becoming frustrated with having their effort questioned, which was mentioned in Begley’s previous article. J.R. Smith, who had earlier spoken out in support of his coach, admitted he’s worried Woodson ultimately will take the fall for the Knicks’ poor performance.
- Woodson called this season a “disaster from a coaching standpoint,” but he doesn’t want to see it end prematurely for him, writes Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday. Woodson said the failure of the coaching staff to get the players to consistently play at a high level is the most difficult thing for him to accept about his performance. He also stated, “That’s the frustrating part about it because I know we’re better than we’ve shown. We still got a chance though.”
- Carmelo Anthony‘s college coach Jim Boeheim believes Melo needs to play for a contender, Begley notes in a third piece. Boeheim stated, “The problem in the NBA, you’re judged on winning championships. He’s got to try to go and play where they can win a championship or else he’s going to be a failure. That’s the bottom line.” Boeheim disagrees with the notion, but understands that is how superstar players are ultimately judged. He also believes that Melo is happy in New York, but will ultimately choose winning over comfort, wherever that might be. In the same article, Woodson says he hopes Melo looks at more than just this season when making his choice. “He’s got to look at really the last two years, too, what he’s built here. And not just use this year as a year where you throw in the towel,” Woodson said. Anthony will opt out of his contract after the season and become an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks can offer the most money, but if winning is a priority, that edge might not be enough to retain their star.